Our Animate Programme

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What is the Animate Programme?

The Animate Programme of Social Innovation Fund Ireland supports early stage innovations, projects, or organisations to get to the next stage of their development. Our aim at the end of Animate is to make sure that you are ready for next stage social finance or philanthropic investment.

The Animate programme consists of several elements. An award fund of €75,000, made up of a cash award fund of roughly 50% in grants and non-financial supports . We expect to make 3 equal awards of €20,000 in value each, and non-financial supports to the value of 50% also. Although the Board does reserve the right to vary this based on the applications received.


What types of projects are we looking for?

We have a special interest in projects that meet the criteria listed below, but that are also solutions to problems that public opinion is concerned about and seeking a solution to, that are or have the potential to be financially sustainable, and that create jobs in Ireland.

What is the timeframe for the Animate programme?

Applications closed on 8th October 2015. Awardees will be announced in January 2016, and the four month programme commences on 8th January 2016.

What does Social Innovation Fund expect of Animate candidates?

We expect applicants to engage fully and truthfully with the application and selection process – this includes providing full and accurate information, both written and verbal, at all stages of the process.

What does Social Innovation Fund expect of Animate Awardees?

Awardees are asked to sign a contract with Social innovation Fund Ireland and are expected to participate in media relations activity on request throughout the programme. Successful candidates are expected to be available to work on Animate for a minimum of 2 days per week from January 2016 through to end April 2016, of which 1 day per week will be face to face with Social Innovation Fund in Dublin, and a minimum of 1 day per week will be follow up work.

What can Animate candidates expect of Social Innovation Fund Ireland?

Candidates can expect that we will engage fully and truthfully with the selection process – this includes providing full, accurate, and timely information, both written and verbal, to applicants and candidates at all stages of the process. Social Innovation Fund Ireland will provide maximum notice for interviews, deadlines, and events.

What can Animate Awardees expect of Social Innovation Fund Ireland?

Awardees can expect that we will provide grants and non-financial supports as promised. Grants will be announced prior to the start of the programme, and will be paid at the close of the programme. Social Innovation Fund Ireland is at all times committed to supporting the successful growth and adoption of Awardees’ projects.

Who can Apply?

Social enterprises, non-profit organisations, programmes or projects may apply. You will need to demonstrate your commitment to your desired social impact, and applicants with a legal form that is not-for-profit will have a clear advantage.

Applicants must be over 18 years old.

The project must meet the following high level criteria –

  • Projects based in Republic of Ireland whose main benefit impacts people in Republic of Ireland
  • Social mission / Focused on social or environmental impact
  • Is a solution to a critical social issue in Ireland
  • Is innovative relative to other solutions available in Ireland (if any)
  • Is early stage, but is up and running. This means that it must be more than an idea, have a model that is identifiable, and has been tested with some users, and have raised some funds to get it off the ground.
  • Is scalable or replicable within Ireland
  • Has ambition to grow nation-wide at least, possibly internationally
  • Can create jobs in Ireland
  • Projects with sustainable revenue streams or the potential to develop them will have an advantage.

What projects are not eligible?

  • Projects seeking funding for capital items – buildings, vans etc.
  • Research projects
  • Party political projects
  • Projects that do not provide a benefit to people or the environment e.g. projects that benefit animals only
  • Projects that screen beneficiaries in or out by faith or religious denomination
  • Projects where the main impact is outside Republic of Ireland
  • Projects based outside Republic of Ireland
  • Projects led by people under 18 years
  • Projects that are an idea (only) and that have not yet started.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What exactly does the Animate Award consist of?

Animate Awardees will receive the following – a grant of €10,000, and €10,000 value in non-financial supports. These consist of support to prepare a growth plan, mentoring for the lifetime of the programme, advice and support on organisational development issues to ensure you are positioned for successful growth, and we will open up our business and social sector networks to help you. Social Innovation Fund Ireland reserves the right in certain circumstances to replace the grant with an offer of a loan or grant/loan mix or to vary the mix of financial and non-financial supports.

Awardees can expect to spend a day a week in Dublin on the Animate programme. Some of this will be group based work with all the Awardees, and some will be directly with Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s staff or advisors. It is expected that Awardees will devote at least another day per week on follow up work from these sessions.

  1. How many Awards will be made?

We will make four Awards in January 2016.

  1. If we win, when will the funds be paid?

The Funds will be paid following the successful completion of the Animate programme by the Awardee. Payment of funds is contingent on the Awardee participating in the Animate programme.

  1. What can the Awardee spend the funds on?

The funds must be spent on the project which won the Award. During the Animate programme, the specific use of the funds will be agreed between the Awardee and Social Innovation Fund Ireland.

  1. Who will decide who wins the Awards?

Final decisions are made by the Board of Social Innovation Fund Ireland. Prior to that, applications are screened by Social Innovation Fund staff and independent stakeholders. 

  1. How do I find out if we won an Award?

All applicants have been informed by email or telephone.